MURE 2023-2024

Title: Using stable isotopes to improve conservation in Southern California

Contact: Wallace Meyer “Marty”, Pomona College:

Project Status: This project will run through the 2023-24 academic year. Contact Marty to become involved.

Project Description: This MURE will explore the many ways stable isotopes can be used to examine aspects of ecology that are difficult to study with direct observation: (1) the trophic ecology of animals, (2) water-use efficiency of plants, (3) migration routes of animals, and (4) nutrient cycling through above and belowground components. Because stable isotopes offer opportunities to study many aspects of ecology, future conservation biologists should be able to incorporate these techniques into answering key conservation questions. After students are introduced to the pressing concerns associated with Southern California ecology, they will be guided through a process to develop a question/hypothesis they can test using stable isotopes during the 2023-24 academic year.